Sunday, September 5, 2010

Donabe Love

My favorite Donabe Lady (don't we all have one?) is Naoko Moore.  Naoko is from Tokyo, but now lives in Los Angeles and she has the most wonderful blog chock full of delicious recipes.  Don't know what a Donabe is?  Let me explain.... Donabe is an earthenware pot made out of special clay for use over an open flame in the Japanese kitchen.  My go-to, sure to impress meal for dinner guests is Shabu-Shabu, cooked over a gas burner right at the dinner table.  It's an undeniable conversation starter, healthy, easy and ALWAYS sure to impress.  In Japan it has long been believed that sharing a meal from a single pot forges closer relationships.  Here is a picture of a traditional Shabu-Shabu dinner I made for friends and family on Christmas Eve last year:
Naoko imports several amazing products on her site Toiro such as a Homemade Tofu Kit, Donabe Rice Cooker, Donabe Smoker, Soup and Stew Donabe, Iga-yaki Grill, etc.  Her site is dreamy!!  Each of her Donabe are imported and made from a skilled craftsman in the Iga region of Japan.  Iga-Yaki pottery is one of Japan's most highly-regarded traditional ceramics.  Whenever I need a spectacular gift for one of my foodie friends, I order one of Naoko's beautiful Donabe and pair it with my favorite hot pot cookbook: "Japanese Hot Pots, conforting one-pot meals".  

This present is a sure fire hit!  You can view the authors of this book making one of my favorite recipes at this link.  This meal is a knock-out!  In addition to the incredible products on her site, Naoko also offers cooking classes!!  I've been dying to take a class with Naoko, however she is all the way in Echo Park (which is half way around the world for me in LA traffic) but I've put it off long enough.  My goal is to get there before the end of the year!  Echo Park isn't too far to drive for my Donabe Love.

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